Black and White

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Project by Bill posted 12-03-2012 04:04 PM 1586 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These two boxes are negatives of each other. They are made from Birdseye Maple and wenge. They are both 5×9x4.
This is the first I have used wenge, it is a little tough to finish. Any tips would be helpful. I used two coats of lacquer topped with three coats wipe on poly, sanded between the coats with 600 grit. Still less than perfect.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

21 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17272 posts in 1283 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 04:19 PM

Awesome boxes. Really nice work. Beautiful wood.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DocSavage45's profile


6282 posts in 1787 days

#2 posted 12-03-2012 04:25 PM

If it were perfect it would lack creativity, and human touch. Thanks for your imperfect boxes!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodbridge's profile


3178 posts in 1363 days

#3 posted 12-03-2012 04:32 PM

beautiful boxes and a really interesting and attractive design.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario (

View luv2learn's profile


2088 posts in 1248 days

#4 posted 12-03-2012 04:38 PM

The boxes are beautiful. You have a talent for unique design. Less than perfect? Perhaps, but most of us would say the same about any of our projects. Well done!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Boxguy's profile


1743 posts in 1212 days

#5 posted 12-03-2012 04:43 PM

Bill, beautiful work. I especially like the grain in the arched wenge top. You are doing an outstanding job and I like your “signature” arc at the bottom.

Please, be especially careful of wenge sawdust. It can be toxic to your lungs and skin. If the wenge is oily, try wiping a very light coating of thinner on and letting it dry completely before you apply the finish. It also might be better to apply the poly on directly without the lacquer coat. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View a1Jim's profile


113382 posts in 2522 days

#6 posted 12-03-2012 04:52 PM

Very unique boxes ,outstanding design,great woods ,well done.

-- Custom furniture

View BTimmons's profile


2281 posts in 1430 days

#7 posted 12-03-2012 04:52 PM

I LOVE ‘em. As for finishing wenge, you say that your results are less than perfect but you don’t really specify what you’re going for. I used some wenge for an older project and was shooting for a very natural satin finish. To that end, I had good luck using a few coats of a homemade wiping mix. Equal parts satin poly, boiled linseed oil, and mineral spirits. The coats go on very thin and the result is a very natural, close to the wood finish.

On the other hand, if you’re going for a glossier look, you’d need to fill the pores, as wenge is a very open pored wood. The grain is very brittle and fibrous, almost like compressed straw.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Bill's profile


391 posts in 1094 days

#8 posted 12-03-2012 05:04 PM

Thanks for the tips. I was trying to get them glossy, but the lighter colored streaks in the wenge never stopped soaking up finish. I might still try more coats of poly, and see if that works.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View HorizontalMike's profile


6975 posts in 1859 days

#9 posted 12-03-2012 05:38 PM

Wow! That Bird’s Eye is even better than the curly maple one you posted earlier. Great stuff!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View blackcherry's profile


3220 posts in 2768 days

#10 posted 12-03-2012 08:30 PM

Beautiful wood combo, I really like the B.E. lid one the best great work all around..BC

View majuvla's profile


4930 posts in 1812 days

#11 posted 12-03-2012 09:11 PM

Beautiful jing-jang combination.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Granddaddy1's profile


181 posts in 1146 days

#12 posted 12-03-2012 10:06 PM

I like the design and I like the wood. Very creative! The best luck I’ve had finishing wenge is to use paste wax only. Seems like that works better (at least for me). Good job!

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 999 days

#13 posted 12-03-2012 10:30 PM


-- Joel

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 1928 days

#14 posted 12-03-2012 11:36 PM

cool looking boxes

View Marcos's profile


58 posts in 1315 days

#15 posted 12-04-2012 12:50 AM

These are great!

I love the birds-eye…it looks almost fluorescent.

Keep it up.

-- Marcos, California

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